The Mantra of Efficiency: From Waterwheel to Social Control (Hardback)
  • The Mantra of Efficiency: From Waterwheel to Social Control (Hardback)
zoom

The Mantra of Efficiency: From Waterwheel to Social Control (Hardback)

(author)
£41.50
Hardback 256 Pages / Published: 01/02/2008
  • We can order this

Usually dispatched within 3 weeks

  • This item has been added to your basket
Efficiency-associated with individual discipline, superior management, and increased profits or productivity-often counts as one of the highest virtues in Western culture. But what does it mean, exactly, to be efficient? How did this concept evolve from a means for evaluating simple machines to the mantra of progress and a prerequisite for success? In this provocative and ambitious study, Jennifer Karns Alexander explores the growing power of efficiency in the post-industrial West. Examining the ways the concept has appeared in modern history-from a benign measure of the thermal economy of a machine to its widespread application to personal behaviors like chewing habits, spending choices, and shop floor movements to its controversial use as a measure of the business success of American slavery-she argues that beneath efficiency's seemingly endless variety lies a common theme: the pursuit of mastery through techniques of surveillance, discipline, and control. Six historical case studies-two from Britain, one each from France and Germany, and two from the United States-illustrate the concept's fascinating development and provide context for the meanings of, and uses for, efficiency today and in the future.

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
ISBN: 9780801886935
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 499 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 22 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
This concise, scholarly study will not only encourage reflective analysis of historical events but also offer insight into potential future applications and change. * Choice *
Alexander skillfully interprets a broad spectrum of sources spanning three centuries, three languages, and several academic disciplines. She packs a wealth of information into a slim and readable volume, carefully exploring the nuances of each case without straying too far from the central focus on efficiency's intellectual heritage. -- Eric S. Hintz * Enterprise and Society *
A thought provoking study... Widens our understanding of how ideas of efficiency began, how efficiency has been experienced in different historical circumstances. -- Peter Sutton * Reviews in History *
A very provocative book. -- Larry Stewart * American Historical Review *
An ambitious book that... largely succeeds. -- William J. Ashworth * Canadian Journal of History *

You may also be interested in...

Knowledge Economy and the City
Added to basket
Innovation Economics
Added to basket
The Hollywood Economist 2.0
Added to basket
Capitalism at Risk
Added to basket
The Architecture of Innovation
Added to basket
Modern Economic Regulation
Added to basket
Free
Added to basket
£8.99
Paperback

Reviews

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.